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NYS Comptroller

THOMAS P. DiNAPOLI

Taxpayers' Guide to State and Local Audits

Audits of Local Governments and School Districts

Town of Altona – Apparent Misappropriations of Cash Receipts and Supervisor’s Records and Reports (2013M-282)


Released: May 15, 2014 -- [read complete report - pdf]

Purpose of Audit

The purpose of our audit was to review the Town’s cash receipts and assess the completeness and accuracy of the Town’s records and reports for the period January 1, 2009 through May 31, 2013.

Background

The Town of Altona is located in Clinton County and has a population of approximately 2,900 residents. The 2013 Town budget totaled $1.15 million for all funds, including special districts.

Key Findings

  • The Board did not have the information needed to properly monitor and manage Town operations. These serious deficiencies in the Town’s recordkeeping, reporting and management oversight facilitated the apparent misappropriation of funds.
  • The Town does not have complete, accurate and up-to-date accounting records. The Supervisor did not perform proper monthly bank reconciliations during our entire audit period.
  • The Board did not audit, or cause to be audited, the records of various offices and departments. The Board’s failure to examine these records and reports diminishes its ability to sufficiently monitor the Town’s financial operations and ensure that Town officers and employees follow established policies. Further, annual audits would have detected the bookkeeper’s failure to record and deposit revenues in a timely manner and may have identified her apparent misappropriation of funds.

Key Recommendations

  • Adopt written policies and procedures over cash receipts and deposits, including segregation of duties or implement mitigating controls.
  • Ensure that the Town’s accounting records are complete, accurate and maintained in a timely manner, and that bank reconciliations are performed on a monthly basis.
  • Conduct an annual audit of the records and reports of all Town officers and employees who received or disbursed money during the preceding fiscal year or hire an independent auditor to conduct the audits.

Local Government and School Accountability Contact Information:

Phone: (518) 474-4037; Email: localgov@osc.state.ny.us
Address: Office of the State Comptroller, Division of Local Government and School Accountability
110 State Street, 12th Floor; Albany, NY 12236